Writing Unvarnished 2016

Welcome to Year 3 on A Horse For Elinor – Dressage On A Dime!

Can’t believe it’s been two full years of blogging already.  Amazed and grateful that you keep coming back to visit.

So very happy to have you checking in and giving us tips!  Especially the tips, we need more tips!

Happy New Year 2015

This is the first Unvarnished Post for this year.  This website is not written with any other agenda than just sharing the barn life with you.

More experienced riders are SO welcome to come and read, laugh, be horrified, and possibly give pointers to us.  (Yes, please, pointers!)

If you’re less experienced, or just not able to make much happen right now, hopefully it will be inspirational.  (Although today mostly ugly and not very inspirational.)

It will only work if all shared unvarnished.  Not just a pretty second here and there.  We’re not selling anything here, Valiosa and I.

So, we kick off 2016 with a few unvarnished pictures from the lead jointed Queen-Of-The-Most-Facial-Contortions-While-Riding.  We look like this most of the time.

Going straightGoing straight has to look like an extreme challenge.

Also, trotting on a simple 20 M.

The Inside Hand Villain constantly breaking the rules
The Inside Hand Villain constantly breaking the rules

Prefer even tighter moving, short, trot?  I’m your girl!


Alternated with work heavy on the forehand.

Alternated with work heavy on the forehand. I call this The Penguin Special
I call this The Penguin Special

Capped off by only occasional prompt canter transitions.

... on the wrong lead
… on the wrong lead

Thank you for coming along for the ride.  Let’s make 2016 a beautiful year.  With increasingly better riding!



16 thoughts on “Writing Unvarnished 2016

  1. There is one very important virtue to being honest and unvarnished…you won’t find many people who want to argue with you or snark at you! Nothing worse than someone who knows nothing and pretends to know everything. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Best wishes to you in the New Year! I once asked my son who photographs for me to tell me if I am making a face so I could stop. He laughed at me and said good luck with that. Apparently riding and strange faces just go hand in hand. I am glad I am not alone in that one! 🙂

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    1. It’s our own little private club :0 Or, perhaps not so private now, since I’ve schlepped it up on the Web.
      Anyways, for me it helps to ride with “soft eyes”, and to keep the jaw open a bit. Helps relax the rest of the upper body just a tiny bit,
      and anyone walking by doesn’t have to wonder if I’m possibly choking to death or something 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. First, thanks for dropping by and read about our chocolate warm-up.

    My three daughters are hunter/jumpers, and balancing all of that while going to university. (If that was on my plate, something would have to give.) Their coach/instructor has said this is the year to emerge and show how good they really are. They’re a little more nervous with the new charge, but he remains in telling them winning will take care of itself. But you can tell they are ready to step up.

    About facial contortions, that’s the same here. When they are concentrating, it seems like every rider looks alike. 🙂

    May you have a good start to the year, and a successful 2016 season.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. University studies and horse training and competing are definitely high energy and time demands!
      At least this is the best time in their lives to do it – endless energy, and not too many other responsibilities to fret about! (Such as a mortgage, kids, and all sort of other family commitments)
      Glad to hear we’re all concentrating enough to look like half lunatics 🙂


  4. I love your attitude! It’s so easy to get discouraged and frustrated, especially with young, green horses. I think a lot of people get stuck in the pressure of it all and forget that horses are supposed to be fun. Your mare is absolutely lovely, can’t wait to see more from you two 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kieran – You have no idea how much that was delivered with perfect timing. Exactly what I needed to hear today!

      I mostly stay very positive and realistic about what I’ll be able to accomplish with my young green mare all on my own, but sometimes I, too, feel a little stuck.


      1. I’ve been told timing is a talent of mine, good to know I’ve still got it! I emphasize, I recently worked with a thoroughbred who spent the entire two weeks of our acquaintance spooking, bucking, and bolting so badly I was sure I’d finally met my match. I’d never felt over faced like that before, and I was sure I was going to ruin him with my inexperience (if he didn’t kill me first.) We stuck it out though, and after a month he started gaining confidence in leaps and bounds. He ended up being one of the most talented horses I’ve ever met. They’re such unique, inscrutable creatures, sometimes you just have to take a step back and remember that they could so easily hurt us, but they don’t, and honestly that’s an accomplishment in itself. I think you’re doing a wonderful job!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you! I’ll take any cheerleading I can get!! Not really obvious on the blog, but I do receive a lot of critisizm (like any rider who dares to openly talk about their lack of progress – instantly picked apart by others.). Sometimes tiresome.

          Thinking you’re very brave to work with the thoroughbred through all that! That is awesome. I’ve aged to the point of stepping away from too crazy bolting and bucking after just a few rides 😉 He was lucky to meet you!!


    2. Oh and I should add; I think so many of us riders end up feeling inadequate and incapable of “getting anywhere” because there’s so little heard from others in the same situation. Everyone else seem to be doing great, all the time, no? So, that’s why I thought I’d post a lot about the small ups and very LARGE downs with my young horse 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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